The role of teachers' epistemologies in computerised learning environments
Maor, D. (1992) The role of teachers' epistemologies in computerised learning environments. In: 7th Annual Research Forum of the Western Australian Institute for Educational Research (WAIER), 28 - 29 August 1992, Grace Vaughan House, Shenton Park, W.A.
The purpose of this session is to discuss the results of a study which investigated students' development of inquiry skills in a computerised learning environment, which was designed to facilitate an inquiry-based approach to learning. The study involves an interpretive research approach which was complemented by the analysis of quantitative data obtained from questionnaires. The original theoretical framework of the study, which was based on the field of inquiry learning, was extended to include constructivist perspectives. Interpretive analyses of data were conducted from personal and social constructivist perspectives, and led to the formulation of assertions.
In particular, the session will focus on the fourth assertion which addresses the influence of teachers' epistemologies on the development of students' higher-level thinking skills. In the class where the teacher implemented a constructivist oriented approach to teaching that emphasised both the personal and social construction of students' knowledge, most students developed higher-level thinking skills.
Therefore, this study suggests that it is not the computer itself which facilitates inquiry learning; the facilitative role of the teacher is essential for students to be able to utilise the computer as a tool of scientific inquiry.
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